Mr Kevin Ho

PhD Candidate, BAppSc (Physiotherapy) Honours I

Telephone 9351 9010

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Biographical details

Mr Kevin Ho is an early career researcher and senior musulokskeletal physiotherapy clinician with a focus on people with osteoarthritis and spinal pain. He completed his physiotherapy degree with honours at the University of Sydney. He commenced his PhD Candidature in 2016 and has clinical experiences across public hospitals, aged care facilities and private practice.

Research interests

Sleep & Insomnia

Musculoskeletal Pain (Osteoarthritis and Spinal Pain)

E-Health & Video Games

Teaching and supervision

Postgraduate Teaching Fellow

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy A/II for the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy B/III for the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

ITAS tutor

Thesis work

Thesis title: The relationship between sleep and pain in people with osteoarthritis and low back pain

Supervisors: Marina DE BARROS PINHEIRO , Milena SIMIC , Paulo FERREIRA

Thesis abstract:

Osteoarthritis (OA) and low back pain (LBP) are the leading causes of chronic disability worldwide. Insomnia symptoms are highly prevalent (>50%) in these conditions, and include poor sleep quality, non-restorative sleep, early awakenings, and difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep. The relationship between insomnia and pain has been presumed to be reciprocal, meaning that poorer sleep may lead to worse pain, and worse pain may lead to poorer sleep. However insomnia is a modifiable comorbidity and its management may improve health outcomes of these patients.

Insomnia can be effectively treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBTi) and pharmacological interventions. CBTi for people with comorbid insomnia and chronic pain may improve their sleep and pain. However the use of CBTi for people with comorbid insomnia and chronic musculoskeletal pain (e.g. OA and LBP) has not been specifically summarized. The use of online delivered CBTi for comorbid insomnia and LBP also has the potential to overcome the increasingly limited accessibility of healthcare due to cost and distance, but also has not been explored. Furthermore, longitudinal studies are required to verify the possible casual links between sleep, inflammatory processes such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and LBP.

This thesis aims to determine: 1) If sleep interventions improve pain and sleep in people with OA and/or spinal pain. 2) If an online delivered CBTi intervention for insomnia symptoms can improve health outcomes in people with chronic LBP. 3) If there is a cross-sectional association between insomnia, LBP, and levels of CRP in population-based study. 4) If there is a longitudinal association between the insomnia, LBP, which is mediated by levels of CRP in population-based study.

Aim 1 will be addressed with a systematic review of randomized control trials (RCT) on sleep interventions for OA and spinal pain. Aim 2 will be addressed with a pilot RCT evaluating the using of mHealth delivered CBTi for people with comorbid insomnia symptoms and LBP. Aim 3 will be addressed by analyzing the Norwegian HUNT survey (n>45000). Aim 4 will be addressed by analyzing the Tromso survey (n>12000).

Current projects

Thesis Title:The relationship between sleep and pain in people with osteoarthritis and low back pain

Supervisors: Dr Milena Simic, Dr Paulo Ferriera, Dr Marina Pinheiro

Osteoarthritis (OA) and low back pain (LBP) are the leading causes of chronic disability worldwide. Insomnia symptoms are highly prevalent (>50%) in these conditions, and include poor sleep quality, non-restorative sleep, early awakenings, and difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep. The relationship between insomnia and pain has been presumed to be reciprocal, meaning that poorer sleep may lead to worse pain, and worse pain may lead to poorer sleep. However insomnia is a modifiable comorbidity and its management may improve health outcomes of these patients.

Insomnia can be effectively treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBTi) and pharmacological interventions. CBTi for people with comorbid insomnia and chronic pain may improve their sleep and pain. However the use of CBTi for people with comorbid insomnia and chronic musculoskeletal pain (e.g. OA and LBP) has not been specifically summarized. The use of online delivered CBTi for comorbid insomnia and LBP also has the potential to overcome the increasingly limited accessibility of healthcare due to cost and distance, but also has not been explored. Furthermore, longitudinal studies are required to verify the possible casual links between sleep, inflammatory processes such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and LBP.

This thesis aims to determine:

  1. If sleep interventions improve pain and sleep in people with OA and/or spinal pain.(Project 1)
  2. If an online delivered CBTi intervention for insomnia symptomscan improve health outcomes in people with chronic LBP(Project 2)
  3. If there is a cross-sectional association between insomnia, LBP, and levels of CRP in population-based study.(Project 3)
  4. If there is a longitudinal association between the insomnia, LBP, which is mediated by levels of CRP in population-based study.(Project 4)

Project 1: Sleep interventions for osteoarthritis and spinal pain: a systematic review of randomised control trials.

  • Collaborators: Ms Danielle Aquino Silva, Dr Marina Pinherio, Dr Paulo Ferriera, Prof Ron Grunstein, Dr Christopher Miller and Dr Milena Simic

Project 2: Efficacy of a Sleep Quality Intervention in People With Low Back Pain: Feasibility Randomized Co-Twin Controlled Trial

  • Collaborators: Dr Marina Pinheiro, Dr Manuela Ferreira, Prof Kathryn Refshauge, Prof Ron Grunstein, Prof John Hopper, Prof Christopher Maher, Prof Bart Koes, Prof Juan Ordoñana, and Dr Paulo Ferreira

Project 3:Cross-sectional anaylsis of sleep, pain and inflammatory mediators, in people with osteoarthritis or spinal pain (Norwegian HUNT Database)

  • Collaborators:Dr Milena Simic, DrMilada Cvancarova Småstuen, DrMarina Pinheiro, Dr PauloFerreira, Dr Marianne Bakke Johnsen, Dr Ingrid Heuch, Prof Margaret Grotle, Prof John Zwart, Dr Kristian Nilsen

Project 3:The association between insomnia, high sensitive c-reactive protein, and chronic low back pain: cross-sectional analysis of the HUNT study, Norway

  • Collaborators:Dr Milena Simic, DrMilada Cvancarova Småstuen, DrMarina Pinheiro, Dr PauloFerreira, Dr Marianne Bakke Johnsen, Dr Ingrid Heuch, Prof Margaret Grotle, Prof John Zwart, Dr Kristian Nilsen

Project 4:The association between sleep, high-sensitive c-reactive protein and chronic lower back pain and lower limb osteoarthritis: longitudinal analysis of the Tromsø Study, Norway

  • Collaborators:Dr Kristian Nilsen, DrMarina Pinheiro, Dr PauloFerreira,Dr Milena Simic

Associations

Australian Physiotherapy Association Member (Since 2014)

Awards and honours

2017:Sydney Musculoskeletal, Bone & Joint Health Alliance Scientific Meeting, Oral Presentation Shortlisted Winner

2017:International Back and Neck Pain Research Forum, Poster Presentation Winner

2017: USYD Grant in Aid (Royston George Booker Scholarship)

2017: Twins Research Australia Travel Grant

2016/2017: PRSS Funding

2016: 3 Minute Thesis Competition: Faculty Winner, USYD Finalist

2016-2019: Australia Postgraduate Award with Merit

In the media

Sleep for better back pain (SleepBack) Study:

Twitter

Presentations:

  • 2018Sydney Musculoskeletal, Bone & Joint Health Alliance Scientific Meeting
  • 2018 4th CPC EMCR Symposium
  • 2018 World Congress of Pain, Boston, USA
  • 2018 NSW Agency for CIinical Innovation Musculoskeletal Network Forum
  • 2017Sydney Musculoskeletal, Bone & Joint Health Alliance Scientific Meeting
  • 2017 International Back and Neck Pain Research Forum, Oslo, Norway
  • 2015 Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (NSW) Annual Scientific Symposium

Themes

Musculoskeletal Health; E-Health and Health Care Delivery; Physical Activity, Lifestyle, Ageing and Wellbeing

International links

Norway

(University of Oslo and Norwegian University of Science and Technology) Collaboration with Associate Professor Kristian Bernhard Nilsen and Professor Margreth Grotle. The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT)

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Journals

  • De Barros Pinheiro, M., Ho, K., Ferreira, M., Refshauge, K., Grunstein, R., Hopper, J., Maher, C., Koes, B., Ordonana, J., Ferreira, P. (2016). Efficacy of a Sleep Quality Intervention in People with Low Back Pain: Protocol for a Feasibility Randomized Co-Twin Controlled Trial. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 19(5), 492-501. [More Information]

2016

  • De Barros Pinheiro, M., Ho, K., Ferreira, M., Refshauge, K., Grunstein, R., Hopper, J., Maher, C., Koes, B., Ordonana, J., Ferreira, P. (2016). Efficacy of a Sleep Quality Intervention in People with Low Back Pain: Protocol for a Feasibility Randomized Co-Twin Controlled Trial. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 19(5), 492-501. [More Information]

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